Local News

Authorities: Parents should monitor teens' phones to prevent sexting

Posted September 3, 2015 4:26 p.m. EDT
Updated September 3, 2015 6:11 p.m. EDT

— Authorities are hoping that the arrest of several local teenagers in connection with sex crimes will serve as an eye-opener for parents.

Mark Adair, 17, an honor roll student at Pine Forest High School, was arrested at his Fayetteville home Wednesday and charged with 23 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

“Mr. Adair had been on the Internet on different social media sites and solicited children for photos and videos that were sexually explicit in nature,” said Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sean Swain.

According to Adair’s arrest warrant, the children were between the ages of 12 and 14. It outlines sexually explicit acts that were recorded and exchanged over the Internet.

“What he would do is solicit children or kids, someone under the age of 18 or much younger than 18, and he would trade pornography for their videos and photos,” Swain said.

Swain said that Twitter alerted authorities after seeing some of the pictures. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation tracked the computer to Adair’s home on Riverwalk place.

Earlier this year, Cormega Copening, 17, and his girlfriend faced similar charges for what authorities say was “sexting.” Investigators say that the couple took nude photos of themselves and sent them to each other over their cellphones.

“It’s a popular thing for high school students, someone under the age of 18, to send photos or receive photos of other students,” Swain said.

Authorities are hoping that parents will learn a lesson from both of these cases.

“They need to check their phones,” Swain said. “The parents are paying for these phones, and they’re paying for the computer equipment these kids are using. You’re responsible for what it’s used for.”